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Human Resources Desk Guide (HRDG)

Subchapter 4430
Performance Management 

Section C - Providing Feedback on Performance

 

 

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Introduction This section outlines the requirements for mid-year progress reviews; and provides managers and employees with information to facilitate communication during the performance management process, with the goal of fostering frequent, constructive communication which builds trust and improves clarity and accountability.
Mid-Year Requirement

The supervisor must conduct a progress review at the midpoint of the performance cycle to ensure performance elements and standards are appropriate and to advise the employee of current performance. Mid-year progress reviews are also an excellent opportunity to discuss an employee's training and development needs.


Mid-year progress reviews are to be completed by April 30th of each year, and are documented on Form AD-435A (PDF). The AD-435-A should be completed and filed in the Employee Performance Folder (EPF). The AD-435A should NOT be submitted to the HR Processing Team for the mid-year progress review.

Certification of Mid-Year Progress Reviews The Administrative Officer/Program Designee for each program will certify the completion of all mid-year progress reviews to the HR Policy Branch by May 31st each year. Status of mid-year reviews not completed must also be provided to the HR Policy Branch by May 31st.
Ongoing Feedback 

Supervisors and employees will discuss performance continually throughout the performance cycle. This includes providing specific feedback on performance expectations, objectives and assignments as they are completed, and continuing discussions of what is going well and where improvements can be made. Some examples of feedback discussions would be:

  • Recurring one-on-one meetings between the supervisor and employee;
  • Debriefings, evaluations, and recognition after completion of a project.

 

Supervisors and employees are both accountable for effective feedback discussions and should operate under the shared principle of "no surprises." Regular and candid feedback should focus on current performance and the expectations of both the supervisor and employee.

Preparing for Performance Discussions 

Supervisors
Before discussing performance, supervisors should review the performance plan and also identify any unusual circumstances that could impact the employee's performance. Information which supports work results such as reports, data systems, feedback from customers and peers, employee's accomplishment report, etc., should also be reviewed before meeting with the employee.

Employees
In preparing for performance discussions with their supervisors, employees should think about their career goals and aspirations and how to articulate them when discussing developmental activities. Employees are encouraged to maintain a personal record of their accomplishments and performance throughout the performance cycle and provide the information to their supervisor.

Discussion Examples for Supervisors 

A manager's goal in starting a performance evaluation or feedback conversation is to create trust and put the employee at ease. Some examples of effective feedback techniques are listed below:

  • State specific facts related to performance in a non-judgmental manner
  • Describe impact on the work products/deliverables
  • Be direct - the goal is to improve the current performance
  • Develop action plans—request input
  • Give the employee an opportunity to share his/her ideas. Pause and listen for a response (Ask if the employee has ideas about what to do)
  • Describe any change(s) you want the employee to consider
  • State why the change is needed

 

Give the employee an opportunity to respond and listen to his/her response.

Discretion and judgment must be used in determining which of the following sample statements and questions can be used during performance discussion sessions.

Past performance
  • Let me tell you some of the things I think you've done well or as noted in your self-assessment (be specific).
  • You take initiative. You identify and help solve problems.
  • You do a good job of keeping me and your co-workers informed.
  • You are willing to lead, take responsibility and be accountable.
  • You volunteered to…
  • You properly credit others for their work.
  • Which of your accomplishments do you feel good about? Why?
  • What would you like to improve and why?
  • Here are some things I think you'll want to improve (Be specific.)
  • Describe your contributions to a team effort (if appropriate).
  • What did you enjoy about the team experience?
  • What did you dislike about the team experience and why?
  • What would your customers say about you?
  • When I spoke with some of your customers, their feedback indicated….
Connection of work to organizational mission
  • Let's talk about how your responsibilities support the organization's mission. (Managers should be pre­pared to offer examples to clarify the relationship between the individual's work and the organization's mission.)
  • What ideas do you have for future projects which would further the organization's mission?
Work Environment
  • What can I do to help you be more effective in your job?
  • What can we do to keep our communication effective and ongoing?
  • Do you feel able to strike a balance between your work and home life?
  • Do you feel you have been adequately recognized and rewarded for your work?
  • Is there anything else that you wish to discuss at this time?
Career Objectives
  • Let's discuss your Individual Development Plan (IDP).
  • What are your professional areas of interest and long-term career goals?
  • If available, would you be interested in training opportunities, rotations, or work assignments which could help develop those areas?
  • Here are some other things for you to consider that may benefit your professional development.
  • Let's discuss how your IDP reflects how you will pursue your goals.
Goals for next year
  • What areas of your performance would you like to improve? (Encourage employees to be specific, and cover recommended areas of improvement)?
  • Can you describe how your future goals will support the mission of the organization?
  • Can you describe how your short-term goals will further your long-term professional development?
Discussion Examples for Employees  Listed below are some examples of questions employees may ask during formal and informal discussions:
Past performance
  • What do you think I have done well? Why?
  • Here are things I think I have done particularly well…
  • What do you think I need to improve on and why?
  • What do my customers say about me?
  • I'd like to talk about the recognition I've received for my work...
Connection of work to organizational mission
  • How can my duties and responsibilities better support the organization's mission?
  • Here are my ideas for future projects that would help fulfill the organization's mission...
Work Environment
  • I'd like to discuss the types of assignments that I've been receiving....
  • Here are some ideas I have for making this office a more efficient work environment…
  • Here's what I'd like to do to keep our communication effective and ongoing....
Career objectives
  • Can we discuss my Individual Development Plan?
  • Are there training opportunities, rotational or work assignments available which would assist in my professional development?
  • What are your ideas on how I can improve my IDP goals and how I can pursue those goals effectively?
Goals for next year
  • Here's what I'd like to improve in the coming year....
  • Here's how I think these goals will help me develop and help the organization....
  • Can you give me some feedback on these goals?

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